, Volume 62, Issue 1, pp 110–117 | Cite as

The effect of different growing conditions on water relations parameters of leaf epidermal cells of Tradescantia virginiana L.

  • E. Brinckmann
  • S. D. Tyerman
  • E. Steudle
  • E. -D. Schulze
Original Papers


Tradescantia virginiana L. plants were cultivated under contrasting conditions of temperature, humidity, light quality and intensity, and nutrient status in order to investigate the effect of growth conditions on the water relations parameters of the leaf epidermal cells. Turgor pressure (P), volumetric elastic modulus (ɛ), half-time of water potential equilibration (T1/2), hydraulic conductivity (Lp) were measured with the miniaturized pressure probe in single cells of the upper and lower epidermis of leaves. Turgor differed (range: 0.1 bar to 7.2 bar) between treatments with lowest values under warm and humid conditions and additional supply of fertilizer, and highest values under conditions of low air humidity and low nutrient supply. The volumetric elastic modulus changed by 2 orders of magnitude (range: 3.0 bar to 350 bar, 158 cells), but ɛ was only affected by the treatments, in as much as it was dependent on turgor. The turgor dependence of ɛ, measured on intact leaves of T. virginiana, was similar to that for cells of the isolated (peeled) lower epidermis, where ɛ as a function of turgor was linear over the whole range of turgors. This result has implications for the discussion of pressure/volume curves as measured by the pressure bomb where changes in “bulk leaf ɛ” are frequently discussed as “adaptations” to certain treatments. The measurements of the hydraulic conductivity indicate that this parameter varies between treatments (range of means: 2.4×10-6 cm s-1 bar-1 to 13.4×10-6 cm s-1 bar-1). There was a negative correlation for Lp in cells of intact leaves as a function of turgor which was altered by the growing conditions. However, a correlation with turgor could not be found for cells from isolated epidermis or cells from a uniform population of plants. The large variation in Lp from cell to cell observed in the present and in previous studies was accounted for in a study of 100 cells from a uniform population of plants by the propagation of measurement errors in calculating Lp. The results suggest that in T. virginiana cellular water relations are changed mainly by the turgor dependence of ɛ.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. Brinckmann
    • 1
  • S. D. Tyerman
    • 2
  • E. Steudle
    • 2
  • E. -D. Schulze
    • 1
  1. 1.Lehrstuhl für PflanzenökologieUniversität BayreuthBayreuthGermany
  2. 2.Arbeitsgruppe Membranforschung am Institut für MedizinKernforschungsanlage Jülich GmbHJülichGermany
  3. 3.School of Biological SciencesThe Flinders University of South AustraliaBedford Park

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